From Johnny Depp to Denzel Washington: Quentin Tarantino’s original ‘Pulp Fiction’ cast requests
We’re revisiting the Far Out Magazine vault to discover a wishlist created by critically acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino, looking back one of the auteur’s early masterpieces; Pulp Fiction and the cast he originally wanted in the now-iconic roles.
While Tarantino’s recent project, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, includes a who’s who of acting fame spearheaded by Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, the director has always demonstrated a very specific viewpoint when trying to find the perfect performer for his curated roles.
It means that Tarantino’s penchant for detailed early cast requests has always played a major part in his film creation. Take, for example, the 1994 bonanza Pulp Fiction when the director marked out an early shopping list for his now-iconic project and it makes for an interesting read. For example, while Uma Thurman earned cult status in her role as Mia Wallace’s character, earning nominations at the Oscar’s for ‘Best Supporting Actress’, she wasn’t initially earmarked for a role at all.
On top of that John Travolta, who was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor, was not an early pick for Tarantino despite being “strong, strong second choice”. Travolta only managed to land the role as Vincent when Tarantino’s first choice, Michael Madsen, opted for a role in a different film.
The likes of Johnny Depp, Nicholas Cage, Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Alec Baldwin and Francis Coppola were all mentioned in the award-winning director’s wish list.
The director would have to fight tooth and nail to get his desired cast after the studio Miramax sent their own cast requests via fax before shooting began. As Open Culture notes, they liked Eddie Murphy for the role of Jules while also considering Danny DeVito for Harvey Keitel’s iconic role of ‘The Wolf’.
“Back then, I got much more excited by cool casting,” Tarantino said a recent interview with Vulture. “I liked the idea of taking an actor I’ve always liked but wasn’t being used much anymore and putting him in the movie and showing people what he could do. But I don’t feel that way anymore. Now it’s all about my characters.”
Find the original pre-approved list below and further details here: